The Federal Health Ministry has warned Nigerians of an increase in the high rate of kidney trafficking and the illegal harvest and transplant of other human organs.
The health ministry has written the Nigerian Medical Association to warn all doctors in relevant specialities to create awareness for Nigerians intending to travel to Egypt for medical attention.
The memo by the Director for Hospital services, Dr Wapada I. Balami for the Minister of Health entitled, ”41 Suspected illegal human kidney traffickers on the trail in Egypt” raises concern about patients possibly seeking treatment abroad and their doctors referring them to any complicit hospital.
It revealed that there is an increase in illegal harvesting and transplanting of human organs in that country, warning that patients stand the risk of getting their organs illegally trafficked or losing their lives to the growing trade in illegal organ harvest and transplant.
Copies of the letter which has been circulating on social media also disclosed that Egyptian authorities prosecuted 41 people for illegal trafficking in human kidneys.
The office of Egypt’s prosecutor-general issued names of private hospitals in the Giza area of Cairo complicit in human kidney trafficking. They include:
- · Dar al-shefa in Helwan, Cairo
- · Al-Bashar Specialist Hospital in Faisal, Giza
- · Al-Amal Centre for General Surgery in Maurinteya, Giza
- · Dar Ibn Al-Nafis Hospital, Giza
Reacting to the memo, the NMA president Mike Ogirinma described the development as disheartening.
“If some of our colleagues are in that trade, that is very disheartening.
“For us as an association, we may not have such powers to stop it but we can investigate,” Ogirinma told Daily Trust.
He further disclosed that the regulatory body, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, which hosts a tribunal to try erring doctors and dentists in Nigeria cannot constitute a board since it was dissolved in 2015.
“The organ left for us is the regulatory body, MDCN. Professional misconduct or negligence are taken before it. Unfortunately, that council was dissolved immediately this administration came in, and NMA has been pushing for it to be reconstituted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has called for its inclusion in the formulation of Federal Government’s health policies.
NANNM’s National President, Mr AbdulRauf Adeniji, made the call on Wednesday, Oct.18, in Ibadan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said that inclusion of nurses in policy formulations would give the professionals a sense of belonging and lead to improved services in the health sector.
According to Adeniji, there is a lot of unhealthy rivalry within the health sector between major players, adding that this must be stopped before it leads to disruption of activities.
“The health sector is bedevilled with a lot of challenges that we are all living witnesses to. This in-fighting was caused by lack of inclusion of nurses in policy formulations.
“This infighting has plagued the sector with all manners of industrial strikes and counter strikes among key players of the health sector.
“This has not allowed the glittering aspect of the health sector to manifest in Nigeria. The federal government has to go back to the drawing board and begin to adjust.
“The role of the nurses is pivotal in the health sector. How can a key player be left out in the scheme of things?
“We understand that health care delivery system entails working in collaboration with others to meet the objectives of giving care.
“We adhere to the rules of relationship in all ramification. So nurses should never be seen as errand persons among health workers,” he said.
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The president listed other challenges facing the sector to include: underfunding, lack of infrastructure, salary delays and salary shortfalls and cancellation of training programmes for nurses.